Snippet from a Conversation I Had Yesterday

Slightly paraphrased, but it went something like this:

Friend: So you’re an atheist…?

Me: Yep.

Friend: You don’t believe in God??

Me: Nope.

Friend: You don’t celebrate Christmas or Easter???

Me: Not really… but I do the whole “gift” thing with friends and family.

Friend: Do you celebrate your birthday?!

Nope.

Never.

Atheists don’t have birthdays.

Didn’t everybody know that?


[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

  • Alex

    And we eat babies. How many times do we have to send out these memos?

  • BoxerShorts

    I try to avoid celebrating my own birthday, but it has nothing to do with being an atheist.

    It’s because I hate hate hate being the center of attention.

  • http://www.bernerbits.com Derek

    Well yeah, atheists aren’t born, they grow from super-evil satan-spores.

  • http://fivepublicopinions.wordpress.com AV

    Atheists don’t have birthdays.

    Didn’t everybody know that?

    Nor do we have our own reflections.

  • Jonathan Simmon

    Well, birthdays do have some historical connections with religion.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/ElusiveAnole Matt

    I feel the same way about my birthday, Boxer.
    Ironically, I go all out celebrating everyone else’s. xD

  • http://del.icio.us/jcchurch/ James

    My mom stopped having birthdays, but she’s still a Christian.

  • Richard Wade

    WTF? Hemant, could you discretely tell us some of the context of this absurd conversation and something about the person? Were they just being facetious or was that last question serious?

  • Brayton J. Cameron

    Wow, wrong again. Good thing I read this, because I was ready to celebrate my birthday on Sunday. Now I don’t have to. Can I still celebrate ‘should be my birthday but I’m an atheist day?’

  • http://www.nullifidian.net/ nullifidian

    I have a birthday. Admittedly I stole it from a christian baby that I then ate, but I don’t think it had any more use for it.

    I suspect that the Queen, having two birthdays and being a christian, did something similar.

  • http://gretachristina.typepad.com/ Greta Christina

    Maybe it was a compliment, Hemant. Maybe your friend thinks your birthday should be a religious holiday. :-)

  • The Unbrainwashed

    Yes I’ve had this exact conversation with members of my family (all, ironically, religious moderates). I think the implication is that because you’re an atheist, you’ve basically given up living like EVERYONE else does, which includes birthday celebrations.

  • Audrey

    Atheists don’t have birthdays. We’ve just always existed. You know, because we are our own gods.

  • Alyssa

    Hmm…I was thinking about this this morning. Today is my birthday. But if life begins at conception, then when is my birthday REALLY? Sometime in September!

    It was distressing. All this time, I’ve had the WRONG BIRTHDAY.

  • Luther Weeks

    Perhaps you could have asked if they participate in Halloween and been taken aback if they said yes.

  • http://ecstathy.blogspot.com efrique

    It’s weird, but I have come up against the same kind of thinking disorder.

    I think some theists have gone through so many brain contortions trying not to think about whether it’s actually true that it interferes with basic cognition, and so they become unable to even conceive what a simple lack of belief in a deity involves.

    I have had ridiculous conversations of this kind with otherwise intelligent people. Now we all know theists who aren’t impaired in this way, so it’s certainly not universal, but having dealt with stuff like this several times, I have to wonder just how common this kind of impairment is among believers, and how far it extends. (Then again, I encounter some similar issues when people discover I am vegetarian. I’m not even sure why people find that personally challenging. It’s not like I walk around condemning meat-eaters – I used to be one!)

  • http://alcaritown.myminicity.com/ Sanity

    Of course we don’t have birthdays.
    But we do have spawn-days, to note the occasion when Satan shaped us from the blood of aborted babies.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Hemant Mehta

    WTF? Hemant, could you discretely tell us some of the context of this absurd conversation and something about the person? Were they just being facetious or was that last question serious?

    On second thought, a better answer may have been:

    “We celebrate birthdays. Just not the birthday of Jesus.”

    I think the friend was actually somewhat serious…

  • JohnB

    Well, hell, I may be an atheist, but I do indeed celebrate my own birthday. It’s the perfect occasion to buy something for myself that no one else will think to buy for me, like a book a really covet and need. And since not one single person alive knows my reading interests, I’m elected.

    My birthday comes right after the summer solstice, so I make a ritual of relaxing with a cool beverage and my birthday book, and I’m a happy man. I recommend it highly.

  • Vincent

    “We celebrate birthdays. Just not the birthday of Jesus.”

    I’ll celebrate Jesus’ birthday (I believe it’s been determined to be sometime in April) as soon as Jesus sends me a signed invitation to his party.
    Of course I probably won’t get him a present since he’s never given me a birthday present.

  • stogoe

    I totally celebrate Jesus’ birthday. And if my family exchanged presents to commemorate the War of the Ring, or the Scouring of the Shire, I’d celebrate that.too.

    Because presents are fun. And so is chocolate. Did you konw that Easter Monday is one of the holiest days of the Chocolatists – clearance price chocolate!

  • http://braytoncameron.tumblr.com Brayton Cameron

    “I’ll celebrate Jesus’ birthday (I believe it’s been determined to be sometime in April) as soon as Jesus sends me a signed invitation to his party.
    Of course I probably won’t get him a present since he’s never given me a birthday present”
    I think if Jesus invited me to his birthday party I’d bring a gift. Maybe some new sandals or a nice beard/mustache grooming kit. Something practical.

  • April

    Atheists…Jehovah’s Witnesses… I get them confused all the time.

    Atheists are the ones who go from door to door with their Watchtower-booklets, right?

  • http://baconeatingatheistjew.blogspot.com/ The Atheist Jew

    We don’t have checkbooks either or pay taxes because we refuse to acknowledge the Year of The Lord thingy.

  • Polly

    stogoe,

    Did you konw that Easter Monday is one of the holiest days of the Chocolatists – clearance price chocolate!

    That’s so true. We always go trolling for bargain chocolate eggs the day after Easter at the local See’s Candy.

  • slavenka

    I believe in myself, therefore I am believer.

  • mr_purple_cat esq.

    look, everybody on this page just move to denmark, then we launch america into space. problem solved!

  • http://youmademesayit.blogspot.com PhillyChief

    This is just another example of “you atheists don’t believe in anything”.

    Well I’d certainly ask them if they celebrate Halloween as someone else mentioned above. I’d also ask if they ever celebrate the following day. That is supposed to be holy, no? You can also ask if they celebrate secular holidays, especially non-American ones like Cinco de Mayo. But, but, why? Reversing their logic is always fun, of course it’s often hard since it’s usually circular.


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